I remember the time so vividly. Driving to the hospital after walking the dog in the morning. I had set my routine up so that I could get to the hospital in time for one of his first feeds. I was on time, I had slept ok the night before, but I was just crying. I’d felt sad for a few days and had noticed myself feeling numb. The way I usually cheer myself up is to put happy upbeat songs on, but today this just wasn’t working. So I decided to sing louder maybe I need to just push through and lose myself in the music. This wasn’t working, the tears were just streaming from my eyes, I couldn’t stop them. It was a 30 min drive to the hospital and I cried all the way there. On reflection it was actually quite dangerous at one point, because I couldn’t actually see. The thoughts going through my head were the thoughts I’d been having for over a month. Why me? It’s all my fault! If I’d have just done this differently, I failed him, this is not how it supposed to be, it’s not fair, I could go on.
I got to the hospital and G had been at this hospital for about a month now, so the staff knew what I was like. The most amazing nurse was looking after Grayson and she said “are you ok?” Well that’s when it all came flooding out, I had told her I felt numb, that I loved Grayson but I didn’t feel it as strongly as I did before. I wasn’t washing, I was just going through the motions of the day before it was bedtime again. She mention depression and I immediately felt panicked because I had already thought that this might be the case, however hearing someone say it out loud was overwhelming. We didn’t take it any further, and I told Jon that night what had happened, we agreed to see how I get on.
That was until the next day, when the most amazing ward clerk came in for a chat, she said she had noticed a change in me and that I was a shell of myself. We had such a long chat about how I was feeling. She urged me to get an appointment with the doctor but I refused, I refused so many times that in the end she pleaded with me, for her to ring the doctors for me and make me an appointment. I had an appointment the very same day and I was diagnosed with postnatal depression. I was out on 10mg of Citalopram with the idea of increasing it to 20mg. It took a while for me to feel the effects but eventually I was able to wash, put make up on, sleep better.
Although the medication helped short term there were still a lot of unresolved issues I needed to work through. My health visitor was able to secure some free counselling sessions for me through a local charity. It was so so hard but actually one of the best things I ever did! It helped me process all of the feelings I had built up on my brain. When I finished my counselling I felt in a good place, however this did not last forever. I was really struggling with the restrictions still in place due to Covid and the maternity leave I wanted and the maternity leave I had. This is when the lady from the charity put me forward for hypnotherapy, this is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. It was hard getting to the route of my sadness and I found some of the sessions too overwhelming but once I was able to process it all, I have found it so helpful. At the same time as my hypnotherapy I contacted the doctor because I had been having suicidal thoughts. This is when they increased my medication to 40mg.
It has now been 12 months since my initial diagnosis, it has been the hardest year of my life, however I feel so much stronger for it. I have found new ways to cope with my struggles and I’ve also found the most amazing support network on Instagram.
I would like to urge anyone who may be feeling similar to me to get help. You know in yourself deep down if how you're feeling is not normal for you. I’m so glad I was urged to get help because I honestly don’t know where I would be now if that lovely ward clerk on Grayson’s Unit hadn’t had made that appointment for me. How you’re feeling is normal and it’s ok to get help. It’s a hard road but the destination is wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I hope in some way it will help someone.